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History of Ashland, Wisconsin

Ashland, the county seat of Ashland County, sits on the shores of Lake Superior at Chequamegon Bay in northern Wisconsin. The Apostle Islands are north of Ashland. The first settlers came to Ashland in 1854, but a series of troubles drove most of them away by 1870. Prosperity returned later in the form of logging and iron ore mining in the Gogebic Range of Michigan. Ashland received its city charter in 1887. Northland College was founded as North Wisconsin Academy by the Congregational Church in 1892. Fleet Admiral William Leahy was raised in Ashland and graduated from Ashland High School in 1892. Local history is preserved at the Northern Wisconsin Historical Center. Another museum is the Washburn Historical Museum in Washburn, six miles away. At one time, Washburn had the largest dynamite manufacturing facility in the world. Memorial Medical Center opened as a private, not-for-profit hospital in 1972, a successor to Trinity Hospital and Ashland Community Hospital.